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MILLAIS, John Guille "Johnny" (1865 – 1931) - THORBURN, Archibald (1860–1935). The Natural History of the British Surface-Feeding Ducks. London: Longmans, Green, and Co., 1902.

MILLAIS, John Guille "Johnny" (1865 – 1931) - THORBURN, Archibald (1860–1935). The Natural History of the British Surface-Feeding Ducks. London: Longmans, Green, and Co., 1902.

500.00

MILLAIS, John Guille "Johnny" (1865 – 1931) - THORBURN, Archibald (1860–1935). The Natural History of the British Surface-Feeding Ducks. London: Longmans, Green, and Co., 1902.

Folio (13 4/8 x 12 inches). Statement of limitation leaf, title-page printed in red and black. Additional pictorial title-page, colour frontispiece and 40 colour plates, 6 photogravures by Thorburn and 16 uncoloured plates after photographs and paintings by Thorburn, Millais and others. Half dark green and olive green cloth, gilt, top edges gilt, others uncut.

Provenance: with the engraved armorial bookplate of Brownlow R.C. Tower on the front paste-down, inscribed to him on the limitation leaf by Francis Ernest Wallow dated 1902

Limited edition, large paper copy, number 199 of 600 copies. From the Preface: "About twenty years ago a rare duck and a wader, both immature plumage, fell to my gun, and, eager to identify the species, I searched every known work on British birds, hoping to gratify my curiosity, but in vain. Birds galore were to be found there, but not my duck, and all those pictured and described were adults - with little or no information as to their plumage at any other stage of their existence. Brooding over my disappointment, I finally resolved to find out for myself all that was to be learned of these interesting creatures, their habits and modes of life, and every circumstance connected with their periodical changes of plumage; and then decided I would, some day, embody this information in a book for the benefit of other students of Natural History. From that day to this I have persistently laboured to this end,..." 

Son of Pre-Raphaelite painter, Sir John Everett Millais, Johnny Millais was a pre-eminent British ornithological artist. As a boy he made a collection of birds shot around the Perthshire coast of Scotland where he spent much of his childhood. This formed the basis of a lifetime collection of around 3,000 specimens that he later housed in a private museum in Horsham in West Sussex, England. Specimens from this collection were depicted by his father in his painting The Ruling Passion, also known as The Ornithologist.

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